Valentine's Day is approaching, and you can smell the aroma of chocolate swirling in the air. Chocolate has been associated with Valentine's Day since the 1800s, when Cadbury began producing "eating chocolates" and marketing them to love-crazed Victorians in beautifully decorated (and heart-shaped) boxes.
There are other reasons we associate chocolate with love and romance. Real, raw cacao can affect the brain by causing the release of neurotransmitters which can trigger feel-good feelings. Specifically, cacao raises levels of serotonin, for a sense of well-being, endorphins, which create a pleasure sensation, phenylethylamine, the "love" chemical created in our brain, and adandamide, the "bliss" chemical.
Did you know? 51% of gift givers will buy chocolate candy for their loved ones this year.
Instead of running out and buying a box of chocolates this year, why not try to create a divinely delicious chocolate dessert at home for your loved ones? By creating your own chocolate creation at home, you have control over the ingredients that you use, allowing for pure cacao full of beneficial nutrients, and avoiding ingredients like flour, gluten, or GMO sugar that might be lurking in a store-bought gift.
Chocolate lava cake, or molten lava cake, is a decadent dessert - a rich chocolate cake surrounding a melted, ooey-gooey, chocolate center. It can easily be adapted into a gluten-free, flour-free dessert.
Gluten-Free Chocolate Molten Lava Cake
5 tblsp (plus more for greasing ramekins) of coconut oil or grass-fed butter
1 cup shredded cacao liquor (also called cacao paste, or cocoa liquor) or chopped, unsweetened bakers chocolate
2 egg yolks
5 tblsp coconut palm sugar
1 tblsp raw cacao powder
2 tblsp almond flour
pinch of pink himalayan sea salt
1/4 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 425°. Grease ramekins well and set aside.
Melt the coconut oil or butter with the cacao liquor (or bakers chocolate) in a double boiler. To create a double boiler, set a small pot of water to boil on the stovetop, and reduce to a simmer. Place a large glass or metal bowl over the top of the pot, being sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Add the coconut oil (or butter) and cacao liquor to the bowl, and stir to combine as the ingredients slowly melt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, and coconut palm sugar until frothy.
Temper the melted chocolate mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. Add a very small amount of the melted chocolate in at first, and whisk well until it is well combined. Slowly add a bit more chocolate, and whisk into well combined. By slowly whisking in the melted chocolate, you will avoid cooking/ scrambling the egg mixture from the heat.
In a small bowl combine the cacao powder, almond flour, and salt. Whisk together, then add to chocolate mixture and combine well.
Add vanilla, stir to combine.
Pour the mixture evenly into the ramekins (2 large or 4-5 small to medium size). Tap the ramekins lightly against the counter to remove air bubbles, then put into the refrigerater to chill for 30 min.
Place ramekins into a high sided casserole dish, and place the casserole dish onto a rack in the middle of your oven. Pour hot to boiling water from a teapot or electric kettle into the casserole dish, until it comes 1/2 way up the sides of the ramekins. Be careful not to slosh the water into the ramekins and their chocolate mixture.
Bake 15-18 minutes until the edges look done and the middle looks not quite all the way set. Carefully remove ramekins from casserole dish, and set them on a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Slide a butter knife around the edges of the ramekins to dislodge, then turn them over upside down onto a plate and tap the bottom until the cake slides out.
Garnish with cacao powder, raspberries, cut strawberries, mint leaves, or any other desired toppings.
This recipe is gluten-free.
Adapted from Paleo Chocolate Molten Lava Cake, recipe courtesy of cleaneatingwithadirtymind.com